Reblog: Rosaria Butterfield: No free passes

From World Magazine

I interviewed Rosaria Butterfield 3½ years ago as her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, was coming out and heading toward wide readership. Since then she’s spoken widely throughout the United States and sometimes faced LGBTQ demonstrators displeased with her movement from lesbianism (and a tenured Syracuse professorship in women’s studies) to Christian believer and pastor’s wife. Here are edited excerpts of a new interview before Patrick Henry College students.

You’ve previously spoken of your fascinating conversion, so I won’t ask about it today: Folks can read excerpts of our interview in WORLD (March 23, 2013) or watch it on YouTube, as more than 120,000 people have. Let’s talk about what’s happened since: What were you thinking when you first saw demonstrators? Wow: This is the world I helped create through my earlier teaching, and I don’t get a free pass. I know the Lord has forgiven and delivered me, and given me joy in a life that I never could have imagined living before—but I did this. I taught thousands of students to despise the Bible. The blood is on my hands.

read the rest here.


Reblog: 10 Marks of an Immature Believer

by Borrowed Light

Hanging from that random tree seemed like a really good idea at the time. I was in eighth grade and our youth group (I don’t think I was actually a Christian at the time) was going through the community singing Christmas carols. I thought it’d be really funny to climb a tree and show off my sweet monkey skills.

Then we got back to the church. I realized my idea wasn’t such a good idea anymore when the youth leader—who I had a great deal of respect for—called me out in front of everyone. He informed me, and everyone else, that I was being observed by the sweet old lady who owned the tree. She was appalled. And I wasn’t representing Jesus well to her. I was acting like an immature little kid.

I was mortified. But it got my attention. I realized that I needed to grow up.

You can decide on your own if that youth leader was correct for calling me out in front of everyone. And those of you who know me in person might wonder if I’ve matured that much since my tree-climbing days. I’m sharing that story today to say that sometimes someone pointing out our immaturity is a great grace in our life. The Spirit uses it as a wake-up call to drive us closer to Christ and desperate for growth. When we realize we are being tossed to and fro we become hungry for the anchor that is maturity in Christ.

In his little book, Grace: The Truth, Growth, and Different Degrees, Christopher Love, gives ten marks of an immature believer. He does this not to shame but in order to spur on towards growth in Christ. I’ve updated and summarized these. I’ve also put them into a Jeff Foxworthy-esque “You Might Be A…” format.

You might be an immature Christian if…

  1. You rest too much on your observance of Christian duties (ex: Bible reading, prayer, etc.). “As it is a sign of an apostate professor to call of duty, so it is also a note of a young and weak professor to rest too much upon his duties.”
  2. You aren’t able to see the faults in your successes. “A weak Christian does not have clear insight into the close and spiritual failing which cleave to his performances.”
  3. You focus your attention on matters of indifference. “Not to know our liberty, and to abuse our liberty, is an argument we have but little grace. Young converts call more things sins than ever God did”
  4. You neglect your worldly callings. This would be like the Thessalonians who stopped being a working part of society as the waited upon the Second Coming. Neglecting your family, your job, etc. at the expense of “spiritual things” is actually a mark of immaturity.
  5. You are a respecter of persons. Putting yourself into factions and following men. “To idolize some, and to despise others, argues that you are in weak faith.”

Read the rest here.

Reblog: Online Resources for Biblical Exegesis

by David Murray of HeadHeartHand

Here’s a selection of articles on biblical exegesis that I’ve gathered over the years from various blogs and websites. Please feel free to suggest more and I’ll add them. For more resource lists on various subjects click here.


How to Quickly Diagram a Biblical Passage | LogosTalk

Phrasing: My Favorite Way to Trace an Argument ‘ Andy Naselli

Chiasms on the Brain? | For His Renown

Women Weeping Over Diagrammed Sentences – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Greek and Hebrew

Do You Break These Rules for Greek and Hebrew Study? | LogosTalk

Is It a Waste of Time for Seminary Students (and Pastors) to Learn the Biblical Languages? | Canon Fodder

How to Search the Original Languages with Logos | LogosTalk

Why It Is Beneficial to Learn Greek and Hebrew Even if You Lose It | Ad Fontes

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

My Advice to Students — Van Pelt Shares Solid Languages Advice He Got and Wished He Got

Encouraging reason to learn Greek | Scripture Zealot

ESV GreekTools – Justin Taylor

Rethinking the Teaching of Hebrew

Word Studies

You Should Probably Stop Using Lexicons | LogosTalk

7 Ways to Do a BAD Word Study by Nicholas McDonald

Word Studies: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Do You Make These 5 Common Word Study Mistakes? | Pastoralized

Word Studies – Christian Leadership

There is more so click here.


Reblog: What Ivy League students are reading that you aren’t

If you want an Ivy League education, you could fork over $200 grand or so and go to Cornell or Harvard for four years. Alternatively, you could save a ton of cash by simply reading the same books Ivy League students are assigned.

That became easier recently with the release of the Open Syllabus Explorer, an online database of books assigned in over 1 million college courses over the past decade or so.

As the group behind the project explains: There’s an “intellectual judgment embedded” in the lists of books college students are required to read. The most frequently-assigned books at the nation’s universities are essentially our canon: the body of literature that society’s leaders are expected to be familiar with. So what does that canon look like?

For starters, the Explorer lets us filter by individual schools. I tallied the most frequently assigned books at all U.S. colleges and universities and compared them to the list at seven Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, U. Penn and Brown (Dartmouth doesn’t seem to appear in the Explorer’s database — more on that below).

read the rest here.

Reblog: Why We Struggle to Communicate (and How to Fix It)

by Dr. Travis Bradberry

When it comes to communication, we all tend to think we’re pretty good at it. Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. This overestimation of our ability to communicate is magnified when interacting with people we know well.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business put this theory to the test and what they discovered is startling. In the study, the researchers paired subjects with people they knew well and then again with people they’d never met. The researchers discovered that people who knew each other well understood each other no better than people who’d just met! Even worse, participants frequently overestimated their ability to communicate, and this was more pronounced with people they knew well.

“Our problem in communicating with friends is that we have an illusion of insight,” said study co-author Nicholas Epley. “Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding.”

When communicating with people we know well, we make presumptions about what they understand—presumptions that we don’t dare make with strangers. This tendency to overestimate how well we communicate (and how well we’re understood) is so prevalent that psychologists even have a name for it: closeness-communication bias.

“The understanding, ‘What I know is different from what you know’ is essential for effective communication,” said study lead Kenneth Savitsky, “but that insight can be elusive. Some [people] may indeed be on the same wavelength, but maybe not as much as they think. You get rushed and preoccupied, and you stop taking the perspective of the other person.”

Read the rest on LinkedIn.

Reblog: I Spent 5 Years Interviewing the Most Successful People Alive — They All Have These 7 Things in Common


For my new book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors, I spent 5 years interviewing some of the most successful people alive (Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Anderson Cooper, Sara Blakely, Jeff Koons, Kathy Ireland, Les Moonves, to name a few). Here are the 7 things they all have in common:


In his Getting There essay, legendary investor Warren Buffett explains that it’s essential to understand your strengths and weaknesses. He relays that when deciding what to pursue, knowing what to leave out is as important as knowing what to focus on and quotes Tom Watson (the founder of IBM) who said, “I’m no genius but I’m smart in spots and I stay around those spots.”

Buffett explains, “My brain is not a general-purpose brain that works marvelously in all situations. There are all sorts of things that I’m no good at and there are all kinds of investment opportunities I’m not able to comprehend. I understand some kinds of simple businesses. I can’t understand complicated ones. Coca- Cola, for example, isn’t very complicated. It’s a durable product and the appeal is universal. I try to find businesses I can grasp, where I like the people running them and think the price makes sense in relation to the future economics.”

John Paul DeJoria, billionaire co-founder of the Patrón Spirits Company and John Paul Mitchell Systems, advises, “Do what you do best and try to find others who can fill in by doing the things you are not good at. For instance, I am terrible at details—accounting especially, so I hire accountants to help me. This frees me up to focus on the things I do excel at and I can run a more efficient operation.”

None of my Getting There subjects are good at everything, but they all became incredibly successful by honing in on what they excel at.

Find the rest of the list on Linked In.

Ted Talks: Brene Brown

These are 2 life changing talks that help to illuminate how shame and vulnerability work in your relationships with people.  I recently read Brene’s book entitled The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to be and Embrace Who You Are.  This book gave me so much insight into human nature and really the things that can drive each of us into hiding or the willingness of vulnerability.  Enjoy the journey. ~ Beth

PVCC Seminar: How to Be a Successful Learner

Cornell Note taking

Our local college put on this Successful Learning Seminar to help students learn to study.  Jamie and I attended yesterday.  They gave us a quick assessment test to determine our preferred learning style.  Mine came out highly visual, Jamie, I think was split between visual and auditory.  The main thrust of the seminar was to help the students to use their textbook wisely and to understand how to take notes and study the materials for their classes.  The Cornell Note-taking Method was mentioned and I didn’t know anything about this so I wanted to make myself a note here on the blog. Click the picture to take to learn more about this method.

When reading your textbook: Start with the summaries and end of the chapter questions so that you know what information you are looking for.  Next, read the titles, subtitles and look at the sidebars and pictures inserted into the chapter. Lastly, read the text of the chapter, highlighting sparingly, so that you can find key elements. Allow yourself to make notes in the margins also, this will help you at review time.

Monergism: Free Books and Resources

From the Monergism site:Monergism pic

We believe the Church should have open access to Scripturally/Theologically sound edifying Christian literature and that one need not be held back from having a significant Christian library because of cost. Our ministry at Monergism involves providing quality Christian literature in accessible formats for free. Most of these eBooks are high quality and available in both ePub and .mobi (kindle) formats with actively linked table of contents.  The links below will take you to the download page. Lord Willing, this list will continue to grow.

Find the link here or click the picture of the books.

Reblog: 10 Books Everyone Should Read by 25(ish)

girls reading

by Nicole Unice

We are surrounded by words, and often throwaway words that don’t matter—our brains filled with buzzwords and jargon, all jumbled like the back of the coat closet. These words may get stuck in our head, but they rarely change us for the better.

But good words stick with us. A good book changes us. The right words speak out what we have hidden in the deepest of places. A good book lifts our eyes beyond the ordinary and shifts our perspective. A phrase or word picture or story immediately can lodge into our memories, and somehow becomes our own.

Read the rest here.

Book Review: Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson

Bring Up Boys 2

Boys should be boys, says Dr. Dobson – but in today’s mixed-up culture, how can moms and dads discern what that means? In this encouraging guide, he offers parents sensible, practical advice on nurturing honesty, integrity, and true masculinity in their sons. Discover time-tested secrets for raising today’s boys to be tomorrow’s godly men! A Dr. James Dobson Building a Family Legacy book.

~ I just finished reading this book.  It’s been out for a while but if you have a son and have questions as how to get him from boy to man this book is a good reference and encouragement.  I highly recommend it.   Beth

Reblog: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick


Here is an important topic that needs to be addressed in the church. Leslie Vernick is a Christian Counselor who has sound Biblical advice to men and women in this situation.  She is trying to raise awareness in Pastors and Elders of the dangers of bad advice and lack of awareness on their parts when trying to help their congregants.

This is a link to a radio interview done recently.  Also you can find many free videos and resources on her own website here.

Grief Support


I just finished a 12 week grief recovery support group.  It was helpful and gave me tools I can use for other losses in my life and also in being able to help support others with grief.  The Grief Recovery Handbook was the book we uses to walk through the process.  I wound up in this group because of the pain I’ve been in over a lengthy broken marriage, and going through that I have been reminded of the death of my mother in 1981 which I know now I was unable to grieve completely at the time.   Banner Hospice was the group sponsoring this support group, it was free, except for the cost of the book, and met at Banner Hospital.  I high recommend this program if you need help with any kind of loss in your life, whether current or in the past.  The facilitator was good and kept the meetings safe and productive.  Check out this link to Banner Grief Support.

Jamie’s Won $ For Writing (WooHoo!!!)

Jamie book winner

I’m so happy for Jamie.  Yesterday she found out that she won a writing contest she entered.  And with it comes some hard cold cash, Yes!    I believe it is the first contest she has entered.   She has always loved writing, or at least since the 2nd or 3rd grade.  I’ve linked the above book to her blog post and you can get to the writing from her instructions, if you’d like.        One Proud Mamma!